Last week, SCI brought together African Ambassadors, Congressional leaders, and hunting and conservation organizations for our first Hunters on the Hill event. The event was a notable success, with a focus on strengthening relationships and discussing sustainable use priorities.
We were honored to be joined by Ambassador Tadeous Chifamba of Zimbabwe, Ambassador Okokame Kitso Mokaila of Botswana, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Congressional staff from across the country, and dignitaries from Tanzania and Zambia. We were also joined by our longstanding partners the International Conservation Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
EVP Ben Cassidy highlighted the importance of working with African countries and supporting their management of their wildlife. This DC event builds off the success of SCI Foundation’s African Wildlife Consultative Forum, hosted in Africa each year, which brings together government officials, professional hunting association leadership, community-based support organizations, international policy experts, and wildlife biologists to focus on African leadership. Additionally, he shared some of SCI’s advocacy priorities, which include fixing the outdated and cumbersome Endangered Species Act and promoting the U.S. Foundation for International Conservation Act (USFICA), a first of its kind initiative to fund conservation projects around the world.
ICCF Group Chairman David Barron also supported USFICA in his remarks, explaining the need for the establishment of habitat buffer zones supported by sustainable use of natural resources. Ambassador Chifamba further spoke of African leadership and the role of communities in benefiting from their wildlife as partners in conservation.
This event will be the first of many as we continue to engage U.S. and African leadership utilizing our DC headquarters right on the Hill. We extend a sincere thank you to all who attended for their friendship and partnership. Most importantly, we look forward to the work ahead promoting hunting, conservation, and African leadership.